#14 – Oso Negro Coffee:  Local Nelson Cafe & Coffee Roaster

#14 – Oso Negro Coffee: Local Nelson Cafe & Coffee Roaster

Intention, Desire, Focus:

“A person starts with an intention, and if that intention is favourable, it attracts positive attention and begins to grow. Nelson is a fabulous location for growth. People are willing to focus on quality of life.” — Jon Meyer, Owner of Oso Negro

Oso Negro, the local Nelson cafe and coffee roaster, began almost twenty years ago here in Nelson. It began as a personal interest of owner Jon Meyer, then “turned into an education, with a parabolic curve; incorporated a focus on qualitative personal interactions, recognized the need to provide without the promise of receiving…and eventually became an appropriate venue for folks from all demographics to meet, drink, and get on with their day.”

This is the kind of gorgeous, poetic response you get from an avid coffee drinker, and committed local entrepreneur.

But he’s exactly right: If you walk into Oso Negro Cafe at any time during the day, you’ll find it packed full of people — all kinds of people, chatting and drinking and eating gorgeous local foods.

“A Happy Environment is a Healthy Environment”

There’s more and more research coming out that coffee can contribute to happiness. But cafes, too, because of their sociability, are a part of that happiness equation.

But you don’t simply “build it and they will come.” The building needs to have genuine intention behind it, a will to contribute to the community, if, in fact you want the community to contribute to you.

As Jon says, “We do what we do, the way we do it, because it the right thing for us to do. We have always practiced fair trade both in purchasing our coffee beans as well as relating to and respecting our co-workers.”

Oso Negro is known locally for the team spirit inherent in the company. It’s palpable. Jon knows well that it’s impossible to do this perfectly, but the importance of supporting the community is another key to their enduring success. As he says, “We all need to be role models for each other.”

True enough.

Drink Coffee Because You Love It

“Always enjoy an activity because of your love for it. Health will follow as a consequence.”
Are you people taking notes? That above sentence should be tweeted out to the interwebs and shared widely.
It’s true that coffee is full of antioxidants…even more so than blueberries. But, and Jon agrees, it’s more about how coffee makes us feel.

As for what time of day we should be drinking the stuff, Jon is as poetic as always. I asked, and he answered with this:

“We drink coffee according to the moment. Coffee must always suit the moment. Isn’t that simply a metaphor for our lives. We act according to the moment, our intuition, and our nature. By behaving that way we are always creating a story.”

And enjoy your coffee with intention. Enjoy it. Let your coffee drinking agree with the moment. A recent article in the popular blog I Love Coffee talks about the research suggesting that we should drink our coffee at around 10:30 am to best take advantage of circadian rhythms and cortisol levels. Whew. I much prefer Jon’s answer when I asked him when we should be drinking his coffee: “Different times of the day might encourage different blends, different roast levels, different brew methods, different company.”

Coffee Making: It Only Seems Complicated

I recently watched a video and read a long-form article in The Atlantic about how to make a “simple cup of coffee”. It seemed so complicated.

Jon’s answer took away the complications, kept the simplicity and added some poetry: “There are many ways to brew up a beverage with the potential that coffee contains.The method must match the moment. With respect to the time of the day, the mood of the moment, the strength required, and folks/intentions assembled.”

And for just the facts? A single cup drip, handground to the appropriate grind while the water is heating up. Water united with coffee at exactly the right temperature, and voila.

It’s “Not Rocket Science By Any Means”

“Not rocket science by any means…simply a matter of intention, desire and focus.”

And as for how he feels about the relationship between coffee and beer that was explored last year with the “Stimulator? “Coffee and anything is a great combination. However, coffee and beer is fabulous. Chocolate is the only other element that I would add to that relationship, at anytime of the day.”

Well said Jon.

To experience Oso Negro cafe, you can make your way to the corner of Ward and Victoria anytime Monday – Saturday 7AM – 6PM or Sunday – 8AM – 4PM.

The coffee is sold at many cafes in Nelson as well as by the half-pound and pound at local supermarkets.


2 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    March 24, 2014

    I find Oso’s coffee too bitter, almost a burnt taste and smell. (Plus a bit too expensive) Much prefer Sidewinders, although I’m in Oso to meet people. Lovely that he supported local crafts people. O, and it gets very noisy in there. Other than that, great place ! (on top of it all, $3.00 + for a coffee is a bit outrageous when one considers $3.00 is what millions of people earn in a day! )
    Only hope his ‘baristas & staff’ earn at least $15.00 per hour ! . .that’s ‘fair trade’!


    • Avatar
      April 22, 2014

      A medium Coffee is $2.25 and Sidewinders actually serves Oso coffee!
      After visiting other cities, Oso Negro by far, has the best cup of coffee 🙂


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